In a brand new cover story feature for Sports Illustrated, current Washington Wizards center Jason Collins has come out of the closet, becoming the very first openly gay athlete actively playing for a major American sports team. In his feature story, Collins writes: “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.” Collins is a 34-year-old widely respected veteran who has played for a total of six teams over the course of 12 seasons. You can read the full story by visiting SportsIllustrated.com.
UPDATE #1: Bill Clinton just released the following statement: “I have known Jason Collins since he was Chelsea’s classmate and friend at Stanford. Jason’s announcement today is an important moment for professional sports and in the history of the LGBT community. It is also the straightforward statement of a good man who wants no more than what so many of us seek: to be able to be who we are; to do our work; to build families and to contribute to our communities. For so many members of the LGBT community, these simple goals remain elusive. I hope that everyone, particularly Jason’s colleagues in the NBA, the media and his many fans extend to him their support and the respect he has earned.”
UPDATE #2: Support from Collins’ fellow professional athletes is pouring in, with congrats from Kobe Bryant, Baron Davis, Tiki Barber and more: CLICK HERE.